Inspiration often comes with a single flash, like lightning, and the Lynktec Bolt Smart Automatic Car Mount brings a fresh and electrifying spark to a segment that has become a bit stale in recent years. Don’t get me wrong, car mounts have gotten better, safer, and cheaper over the past few years, but mostly we’ve seen improvements to the same old spring clips or magnetic dies that hold our phones in place while we drive. .
Qi charging mounts in particular feel like they’re stale, with charging plates slid out the back of awkward clamping mounts. After all, if your mount needs power to charge your phone, why not use some of that power to control the mount itself? The Bolt feels like a breath of fresh air, and I was more than ready to take it for a ride. This mount has had a few flashbacks, but it has been a very useful companion while traveling across the country.
Bolt Smart Auto Car Holder
This car holder is both magical and mechanical.
At the end of the line : A touch panel at the top of the holder opens the clamps, an infrared sensor closes them once your phone is in place, and the holder can quickly charge Samsung Qi phones. It also comes with a USB-C cable and a two-port QC 3.0 car charger to plug in the mount.
- Responsive sensors easily open and close clamps
- Phone easy to line up with Qi coils
- Comes with a compact two-port car charger
- Uses USB-C instead of the old Micro-USB
- USB-C cable could be longer
- The clamps might close a little slower
- Make sure to turn it off before getting out of the car
Bolt Smart Auto Car Holder What turns me on
The Bolt claims it is an “automatic” car holder, but it is not entirely true; it is a sensor-activated mount. A touch panel at the top of the mount opens the clamps, and an IR sensor near the top center of the mount’s faceplate triggers the motor to squeeze the side handles around the phone with a sure squeeze. To remove your phone when you arrive at your destination, simply touch the same touch panel to reopen the clamps.
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When the phone is secured in the holder, it should ideally be aligned with the Qi wireless charging coils inside the holder and start charging your phone battery. Bolt is compatible with both fast Qi wireless charging protocols for Samsung and Apple phones, and a one hour ride could charge more than half of my Samsung Galaxy S9 + battery.
You may need to adjust the bottom feet of the stand to find the perfect spot for your phone. The Bolt’s motorized grippers can hold your phone higher than your feet, but they provide a precise landing zone when you slide your phone into the holder.
These tips are important because with automatic grippers you need to quickly lay your phone flat in the Bolt. The clamps activate just a second or two after the IR sensors register an approaching phone – not a phone flush with the cradle, approaching the mountain. It may take a few tries to get used to, but once you do, this speed is appreciated as it secures your phone and gets you on the road faster.
The Bolt’s LED indicators are bright and easy to recognize on either side of the unit: a blue LED icon on the left side of the unit dictates the Bolt’s current state (on / off / charging), while ‘a red / green LED gives an indicator whether the phone held in the cradle is charging wirelessly or not.
Although the bolt is heavier than the average car mount, the spring clip that the mount comes with easily clings to the air vents of my CR-V, although a windshield / dash kit suction cup is also available. Another plus of the Bolt is that it comes with a two-port USB-A car charger, including a QC 3.0 port for powering the Bolt’s fast wireless charging coils. This charger is compact, well angled and allows you to charge an additional device while driving.
Bolt Smart Auto Car Holder What grinds my gears
Now, I initially received the Bolt in early November and spent much of the month testing the mount in my CR-V on my commutes around town and on Interstate 35 to visit my family. Alas, as I finished my first draft of my exam, my review unit died. I got in the car for a karaoke night and the holder just wouldn’t open, wouldn’t turn on. I received a replacement Bolt that worked perfectly – especially during my long, arduous drive from Texas to Florida – but this initial failure is worth noting.
I will also say that I wish the Bolt would turn off when your car is turned off. If I forgot to turn off the Bolt before leaving the car, I would see that blue LED shining through the driver’s window, sitting there in an empty car for hours or days between trips. I quickly got into the habit of shutting down the unit after turning off the engine – you can’t turn off the Bolt while it’s being powered through the USB-C cable – but if the Bolt could implement an implementation Auto power off after 5 minutes without USB power or phone in the holder, which could save power and extend the life of the holder.
Bolt Smart Auto Car Holder
I have driven over 1,500 miles with the Bolt Car Mount, and for the vast majority of the time it was more than automatic; it was a greased flash! Once I figured out the speed of the infrared sensor and clamps, I found myself mounting my phone whether it needed recharging or not.
While the Bolt is a bit jagged around the edges, like a thunderbolt, this mount is strong, stable and the perfect companion for Android users who don’t have Android Auto compatible head units in their vehicles. . Whether you need to keep your phone charged while it guides you through rush hour traffic or just want to keep your phone out of the way, Bolt is a worthwhile investment for your car and your Qi-enabled phone.
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